SWITZERLAND-SKI-RESORT-TOPS-THE-ALPS-PROPERTY-CHARTS

SWITZERLAND SKI RESORT TOPS THE ALPS PROPERTY CHARTS

10.10.18

The Swiss resort of Villars recorded the strongest annual price growth in the Alps at 6% in the 12 months to June 2018, the latest ski index shows.

Having invested strongly in its ski infrastructure and being home to three international schools means that demand from buyers has strengthened in Villars over the last year, according to the Knight Frank Ski Property Index.

Overall, the index declined by 0.5% in the year to June 2018, a more moderate decline than the 1.8% fall witnessed in 2017 and 13 of the 16 resorts recorded static or rising prices in annual terms. Three years ago, only five resorts registered price growth.

However, aside from Villars and Verbier, price growth was weak across Swiss resorts as the strong Swiss Franc and strict property market regulations, known as Lex Weber, weakened demand.

But in Switzerland, in those resorts where the number of second homes exceeds the 20% cap per commune, hotel style residences, now offer an alternative means for owners to acquire a property and rent it out when not in use, a trend that is growing in popularity.

Prices fell by 11.1% in St Moritz where the robust Franc along with high pricing and a mismatch between demand and supply have seen prices soften. There is pent up demand for smaller units but the current inventory is comprised of older, larger style chalets, the report explains.

The index also shows that the French resort of Val d’Isère generated more buyer enquiries than any other Alpine resort during the 2017/2018 season. And Val d’Isère overtook Chamonix this year as the top-performing French resort in prime price terms with growth of 3% compared with 2.3%.

The report points out that at 1,850 meters, Val d’Isère is one of the highest resorts in the Alps and as a result benefits from a longer season length. The report says that Val d’Isère, Megève and Courchevel continue to build on their brand as luxury resorts with exemplary customer service and amenities.

Courchevel 1550 and 1650 saw prices rise by 2.2% while in Courchevel 1850 they were up by 1.5%. It explains that the lower resorts have a greater dynamism with a number of public and private investment projects underway.

With annual growth of just 0.9%, Méribel has largely peaked in terms of new build opportunities meaning buyers usually opt to buy older stock and re-build. But Méribel Village is increasingly under the spotlight as buyers seek new build opportunities at €16,000 per square meter compared with €20,000 in central Méribel.

All eyes are currently on Asian demand which has the capacity to radically reshape the global ski market in the coming years. Asia’s strong rate of wealth creation and a growing appetite for travel amongst its high net worth individuals, as well as the increasing popularity of winter sports could bolster global demand. China alone aims to have 300 million winter sport enthusiasts ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.

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